Chiefs Will Be Short 2 Coaches vs. Broncos on Sunday Night

Arrowhead Stadium

Getty Outside Arrowhead Stadium on April 9, 2020.

After Friday’s news that two potential starters would be sidelined, Saturday brings news that two Kansas City Chiefs coaches will be missing in action.

No, the franchise won’t be without head coach Andy Reid or offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy but these assistants deserve some recognition all the same — especially when COVID-19 is involved.

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Chiefs Announce Absences

On December 4, Chiefs Twitter relayed: “Offensive line coach Andy Heck will miss tomorrow’s game due to COVID protocols. Assistant offensive line coach Corey Matthaei will fill his role on Sunday.”

In a follow-up tweet, the franchise added: “Additionally, defensive quality control coach Alex Whittingham will miss tomorrow’s game due to COVID protocols. His role will be absorbed by multiple members of the defensive staff.”

Heck has been with Kansas City a long time — nine years to be exact — after coming over from the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013. The former NFL offensive lineman has an impressive track record at the position, helping pave the way for running backs like Jamaal Charles, Kareem Hunt, Spencer Ware, and Maurice Jones-Drew with the Jags.

Recently, the OL coach has mentored rising stars like Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith, two rookies that have performed like veterans in 2021. The first-year center is actually the Chiefs’ top-ranked player this season according to Pro Football Focus.

Heck has also worked with fan-favorites like Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher over the years. This is his 18th season as an NFL coach.

Whittingham has been with the organization four seasons if you include 2021, and he’s been a defensive quality control coach for three of them.

The former Utah walk-on worked closely with the defensive line in 2019 and the linebackers in 2020, according to his bio. Both groups saw success when Whittingham was involved, and he’s another invaluable member of Reid’s staff.

It’s unclear whether or not either coach has tested positive for COVID, or if both were just close contacts of someone who has, but we wish both a speedy return after Week 13 in any case.

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Chiefs Look to Keep Things Rolling

Despite some absences both in uniform and on the sidelines, Kansas City would like nothing more than for things to stay the same.

Over the past four weeks, the Chiefs have outscored their opponents by a combined 46 points. That’s not to say there aren’t some areas that they can clean up.

The defense has been a force, holding offenses under 18 points in four straight games. Patrick Mahomes’ side of the ball has been less explosive though, topping three touchdowns just one time since Week 6 (vs. the Las Vegas Raiders).

All that matters right now is victory, however, and the Chiefs know that better than anyone. Many analysts considered this team dead and buried after the Tennessee Titans rout but KC has not lost a single outing since.

Sometimes it takes failure and some outside noise to bring back that motivation that causes championship teams to strive for greatness once again.


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